Cal State U Tells Schools: If No CRT IN Classes, Then No Student Teachers
No Critical Race Theory in classrooms, no student teachers from us.
That’s the message from California State University, Fullerton, which has decided to withhold its team of student teachers from the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, after district trustees voted earlier this year to ban Critical Race Theory from its curriculum.
The university informed the 23,000-student school district of the decision earlier this week in a statement from College of Education Dean Lisa Kirtman and the college’s leadership team.
There are currently 6 student teachers stationed in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, whereas there are usually 70 to 80, the university statement said.
“The placement of student teachers in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District at this time would place us in conflict with our goals to prepare teacher candidates with pedagogical approaches rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, race and gender theories, cultural linguistic studies, social emotional well-being, and tenets of Critical Race Theory,” the statement reads.
Last year, academicians attended a panel discussion hosted by Cal State Fullerton that asserted the controversial theory — which, according to an explanation posted by Education Week, is that “race is a social construct and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies…The theory says that racism is part of everyday life, so people, white or nonwhite, who don’t intend to be racist can nevertheless make choices that fuel racism.”
At least some opposed to approach argue Some critics the theory advocates discriminating against white people in order to achieve equity. “When followed to its logical conclusion, CRT is destructive and rejects the fundamental ideas on which our constitutional republic is based,” recently said the conservative-based Heritage Foundation.
Many opponents claim CRT is being used to politically indoctrinate children to a woke perception of American life.
Cal State Fullerton educators contend CRT is simply a framework taught in graduate-level courses — mainly law school — that considers the role racism has played in shaping society’s institutions, social structures and laws.
District Superintendent Michael Matthews said in a statement the district values its partnership with the university and looks forward to bringing student teachers back to the district.
“While we respect the University’s right to make this determination, we are disappointed by their decision to pause the placement of new student teachers in our district,” Matthews wrote in a statement.
The decision follows the 3-2 vote by school district trustees in April to ban Critical Race Theory, even though district officials had said all along the theory was not being taught in schools.
School district Trustee Leandra Blades, who strongly supports the CRT ban, criticized Cal State Fullerton on Facebook and suggested it was proof CRT is “infiltrating” district schools.
“I find it extremely disrespectful and unprofessional that CSUF would send student teachers into our schools with the intention of bringing critical race theory and politics that do not align with our district curriculum,” Blades said in her Facebook post.
“It’s a shame that CSUF is allowing politics to deprive their student teachers of this teaching experience,” she continued. “The only students being harmed by this political stance is the student teachers at CSUF.”
In a later email sent to the Voice of Orange County, Blades said district teachers have alleged student teachers from Cal State Fullerton are not following the district’s curriculum.
District spokeswoman Alyssa Griffiths said Cal State Fullerton is the only university that has put a hold on sending student teachers to the district.
“With the recent decision, our school district now has a larger capacity to accept student teacher placement requests from other universities,” she wrote in an email obtained by the Voice of Orange County.